Artist Spotlight, Classical, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #155: Bach Cello Suites Celebrated by 8 Great Cellists

Posted April 22, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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This is kind of an experimental show. Bach wrote six beautiful suites for solo cello, and I want to showcase two of them through interpretations by eight different cellists. The cello is probably the closest instrument to the human voice in terms of range and pitch. The form even resembles a human body (think Man Ray’s 1924 photo of …

African, Art, Literature & Film, film, Jazz, Music History, music phenomena, world music »

The Armenian-Ethiopian Musical Connection

Posted April 20, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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The Éthiopiques (Ethiopian in French) collection of Ethopian popular music is certainly extensive; 28 volumes produced so far to my knowledge on France’s Buda Musique label, and probably more volumes have appeared since #28. The series was founded by an enterprising Frenchman named Francis Falceto, who went to Addis Abbaba in 1984 in search of Ethiopian popular music after hearing an Ethiopian LP by chance at …

African, Artist Spotlight, Music History, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Malick Sidibe, the “Eye of Bamako”, 1936-2016 RIP

Posted April 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Malick Sidibé, Malian photographer, has died at 80. Sidibé’s black and white photos captured the golden era of Malian music and culture during the 1960′s, a time of optimism, pride, pan-africanism, and joy. With the death of fellow Malian photographer Seydou Keita (1921-2001), Sidibé had been the only remaining photographic chronicler of a golden age.
Sidibé’s photos are full of post-independence joy. People came to his …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, New Releases »

Duke Ellington Celebrated in New Rizzoli Book

Posted April 13, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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April is Jazz Appreciation Month, Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s classic 1921 musical Shuffle Along is about to hit big on Broadway, so it’s only fitting that I praise a wonderful and timely new book about Duke Ellington. Duke Ellington: An American Composer and Icon, written by Mercedes Ellington and Steven Brower, a beautifully illustrated gem just published by Rizzoli.
There have been many books about the great jazz composer …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, film, Jazz, Latin, Middle East, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #153: The Oud, Lute, and Guitar; Also, Remembering Gato Barbieri

Posted April 8, 2016 by | 11 Comments
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This week’s show is divided into two parts. In the first half, we hear tracks to compare three solo plucked instruments — the oud, the lute, and the guitar. Then we feature three songs by Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro “Gato” Barbieri, who passed away recently. I reminisced about my 1977 interview with Gato in a blog post earlier this week.
The oud, the lute, and the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

David Baker (1931-2016): Musical Polymath Succeeded Despite Racism

Posted April 4, 2016 by | 0 Comments
David Baker practicing the trombone in the 1950s.

David Baker was a true polymath: writer, educator, trombone and cello virtuoso, conductor, composer. When I read his recent obituary in the New York Times, I was also reminded of Nina Simone.
After earning both bachelor and master’s degrees, Baker auditioned for the trombone chair in the Indianapolis Symphony. He was told, “You’re probably the best one we’ve heard, but we can’t employ you because …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Anoushka Shankar’s “Land of Gold”: A Musical Response to Refugees and Victims of War

Posted March 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Countless singer-songwriters write and perform songs about love lost, heartbreak, or other personal issues. Anoushka Shankar has opted for the road not–or at most seldom–taken with her new album, Land of Gold.
In some ways it echoes her father Ravi Shankar’s and George Harrison’s 1971 The Concert for Bangladesh, a benefit concert, subsequent album, and documentary film to help seven million refugees displaced by the Bangladesh Liberation …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Interviews, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #149: Dorival Caymmi: The Alpha and Omega of Brazilian Music

Posted March 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Photo: Alex Pieros

 
Everybody who likes Brazilian music knows who Antonio Carlos Jobim is. Or Carmen Miranda. Bebel Gilberto. What about Dorival Caymmi?  Not as many know his work. In my own small way I hope to change that.
Dorival Caymmi (1914-2008) paved the way for Jobim, started Carmen Miranda’s career, and influenced an entire generation of musicians who came up in the 1950′s and 1960′s: Tom Jobim, Joao …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Subway Joe: Ordinary Guy’s Boogaloo Renaissance

Posted March 7, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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If you’re deejaying a crowded room of dancers who don’t know how to dance to latin music, there is a solution: play boogaloo. This catchy, soulful music will definitely move some hips.
Boogaloo purveyors such as Pete Rodriguez (“I Like it Like That”) and Joe Cuba (“Bang Bang”) were big in 1970′s New York as well as other big cities, but the genre was eclipsed …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, Music History, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #148: Coltrane’s A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters

Posted March 4, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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John Coltrane’s 1965 album A Love Supreme is not only a musical masterpiece, but also a sublime expression of the human spirit. It is Coltrane’s spiritual essence. Now, 50 years after it was released, some master recordings – long lost and forgotten – have been unearthed and released in a 3-cd set, A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters. The set is co-produced by writer and critic …

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